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IBS Distressed

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After suffering with IBS for at least 12 years, it occurred to me that there might be a support group out there somewhere, and I was glad to find this site.

I can't say what type of IBS I have. I would normally say that this is the result of constipation ("incomplete elimination"), but one gastroenterologist explained that people generally misunderstand the term "diarrhea", thinking that it refers to loose or liquid bowel movements. She said that the medical definition actually refers to the "volume" of those movements. Can anyone corroborate that definition?

Basically my two symptoms are:

1: a large number of bowel movements (5-10) over a period of a few hours every day. I have gotten used to this condition and I have to plan my days accordingly - if I have to be somewhere at 8 in the morning, I have to set my alarm for 4:30, to accommodate several hours of bathroom trips before I leave the house. Catching an early airline flight can cause a couple of days of havoc in my system.

The good news: I have gotten out of jury duty for the rest of my life after explaining that I simply can't be a reliable juror, and that I would have to interrupt the court several times during the morning. This may be the one important contribution I make to this support group. Try it! Getting out jury duty might be the silver lining of IBS!

2: gas and bloating, especially in the hours between 3 and 5 a.m., but also at other times. Simethacone helps to a degree.

I've tried various pre- and probiotics and have experimented with dietary changes, but nothing seems to change the situation. That being said, I have to admit that my food preferences often take precedence over things that are probably better for me, like an IBS elimination diet. It's just hard to give up things like fried foods, nuts and seeds, or whatever.

That's my story. I don't know what to expect from this website and community. It would be nice if even one person would respond, just so I can be sure you're out there!



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Jeffrey Roberts

Dear IBS Distressed,

Sorry about not responding. I was at a medical conference and only returned last night. I'm glad that you found our website community.

I've always defined diarrhea as generally being volume and type of stool. It's usually types 5,6,7 on the Bristol Stool Form Scale. You're right though. The definition of diarrhea and constipation seems to be different for everyone.

#1 - That completely sounds like me. I too have been excused from jury duty.

#2 - I seem to have a lot of gas in the middle of the night too. Interesting to try simethacone.

I'm sorry that you are a member of this club, but I'm glad you are here.


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